NuScale announces SMR power uprate

11 November 2020

NuScale Power has announced a 25% increase in power output for its NuScale Power Module small modular reactor, which it says will lead to significant cost savings. It has also announced options for smaller four-module and six-module plant sizes in addition to its flagship 12-module plant.

(Image: NuScale)

The NuScale Power Module is a pressurised water reactor with all the components for steam generation and heat exchange incorporated into a single integrated unit. The company said yesterday that, following value engineering efforts using advanced testing and modelling tools, it has now concluded that the unit can generate 77 MWe (gross) per module, or about 924 MWe for a 12-module power plant. The increased power output comes without any major changes to the NPM technology.

The increase in generating capacity lowers the overnight capital cost of a 12-module facility from an expected USD3600 per kilowatt to about USD2850, the company said. "Furthermore, the scalable, 12-module power plant will now approach a size that makes it a true competitor for the gigawatt-size market," it added.

The smaller four and six-module power plant solutions will give customers more options in terms of size, power output, operational flexibility and cost, NuScale said, with a smaller footprint and a focus on simplifying construction, reducing construction duration and lowering costs. "This new solution allows NuScale to support a larger cross-section of customer needs including power for small grids such as for island nations; remote off-grid communities; industrial and government facilities; and coal power replacements that require less power and help customers meet clean air mandates," the company said.

The US Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) in September issued a standard design approval for a 50 MWe-per-module version of NuScale's SMR, allowing that design to be referenced in applications for construction, operating and manufacturing licences and permits in the USA. NuScale had previously indicated plans to apply for standard design approval of a 60 MWe version, requiring additional NRC review. It has now said the power uprate will be reviewed by the NRC as part of that application, which it expects to submit in 2022.

Researched and written by World Nuclear News